I was wondering if anyone had any specific experience using Intel DC3700 SSDs (or similar) in the HP (DL380p) Gen8 servers?
I'm upgrading a set of database servers that use direct-attached storage. Typically, we use HP-branded everything in our server configs, and beyond a few SSD'd desktops (all of which have worked flawlessly), I have not otherwise used SSDs - certainly not in a server.
The servers we're upgrading run SQL Server (2005) on Windows. We're moving to SQL 2012. Current boxes host a single 200GB database on DL370 G6 provisioned with 72GB 15K SFF drives in RAID 1+0 as follows: OS (2 spindles), tempdb (4 spindles), t-logs (8 spindles), data (20 spindles). Performance is not an issue (CPU load is typically 20% / peak 30%, disk queues are typ = 1). The data volume disks are running in MSA50s off a P800 - so there's probably 5K IOPS there tops. The hardware is approaching 4 years old, and so it's time for a refresh.
Data usage, as reported by the individual hard disks, shows write volume of < 100TB since deployment on the data volume; < 10TB write on the transaction log volume; and ~ 1TB on tempdb.
That's the use case. Now consider a new, identical disk subsystem. It's going to run ~ $15K per server (34x 15K HDD @ $250 + 2x D2700 shelf + Smart array P421 for the external storage).
Consider a similar SSD deployment, say 6x 200GB SSD for the data volume, and 2 each (100GB) for OS, tempdb, and logging. Perhaps overkill, but using Intel DC S3700 for all with a second array card brings me in around $5K per server. Plus, it fits in one 2U box (use the expansion cage on the DL380p) and saves several hundred dollars in electricity every year. With the increased SSD performance, this might even cover some sloppy queries ;-).
An equivalent "no-worries" HP SSD solution is going to run ~ $10.5K. Twice the price with less warranty, lower endurance, but guaranteed performance and manageability.
Certainly, there are loads of in-between solutions that could work. I'm also quite aware of the vendor supported solution vs. 3rd party trade-offs. What I don't have is experience integrating these specific products to help quantify those trade-offs. I'm hoping someone out there does, and is willing to share his experience.
Questions that come to my mind are:
Does the S3700 play well in the Proliant environment with the Array P42x/P822 cards? If using the S3700, would there be an advantage to using a 3rd party card, say the LSI 9270-8i? How (well, easily) are firmware upgrades or management alerts accomplished with the third party solution as I've outlined?
If there are particular issues with the assembly, how have you worked around them - assuming you have?
With the changes that SSDs has introduced into the storage arena, storage solutions are way less straightforward than even a few years ago. I'm sure they will be very different in another few years, and we had expected to wait another cycle before seriously considering using SSDs in any server application.
Before I head too far down this road, is there anyone who would share their relevant experience with any of this? Please tell us why we're smart, crazy, or something in between.